Raspberry Pi Academy

I can’t believe it’s already been a few weeks since I attended the first Raspberry Pi Academy in Mountain View, CA. The organization and structure of the weekend really help IMG_0030take my understanding to the next level. The experience was everything I had hoped and more. The team really helped us the teachers now as learners begin seeing through a hands on experience the value of using such a device to involve our students in critical thinking and problem solving.

IMG_0040At the first session we were encouraged to fail by Carrie Anne Philbin @MissPhilbin author of an important book for learning the Raspberry Pi called Adventures in Learning Raspberry Pi.

From that point on I knew that we would have an interesting time of learning. I also felt supported to be a learner and not have the pressure of being graded or have to worry that my understanding of Raspberry Pi would be judged.

IMG_0048My first experience was to use Scratch to make an LED light and blink at various rates and intensities. This wasn’t so difficult and everyone in the room was able to succeed.

Later on we would slowly get into more advanced concepts and that’s where my failure rate increased but at the same time the level of support from people in the room increased to ensure that I was able to do whatever the activity that was asked of us.

After a few rotations I was paired with a partner and we IMG_0062were tasked with creating something that involved a motor and other materials that were available. We were
able to make a version of the toy eight-ball where a person would ask a question and receive a random answer.

By the end of the first day I was quite exhausted but excited by what I had learned.

All the educators did a brainstorm on things they were interesting in learning more about using post-its on a whiteboard and these were later organized for the next day.IMG_0067

The next day we were given several presentations and then we were given a further set of instructions to help us complete our final project. I decided that I wanted to do a weather station using a Raspberry Pi Sense Hat that we had learned to use a short time before.

I followed several online sets of instructions and even with no real Python coding experience was able to get the readings and display them on the Sense Hat as well as send them to my Twitter account.

If someone had asked me at the beginning of the weekend if I would have been able to do such feats with the Raspberry Pi, Python programming, and a Sense Hat I would have told them they were wrong, but there it was.IMG_0076

And at the end of the day I was a certified Raspberry Pi Educator 🙂

Make sure to check the latest listings to see if there is a Pi Academy  or check#picademy on twitter in your area. In fact as I write this there are still openings in the next USA Pi Academy. Make sure to apply now today March 25th is the deadline. I guarantee you will have one of those life changing and amazing experiences.

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